tv Vice Presidential Debate CSPAN October 11, 2012 11:30pm-1:00am EDT
national audience, we will be back in 90 minutes right now for a late night when our open phones. we hope to hear from you then. a reminder that c-span's debate held as tonight's debate in its entirety. you can find to the topic areas. you can go back to listen to specific kinds of discussion on taxes, the economy, foreign policy, if you like. share portions of the debate with those in your community. you are welcome to do that on c- span.org and book for our debate held. tomorrow, the candidates are on the campaign trail. vice president biden with joe biden will be in wisconsin at 2:45 eastern time. paul ryan will be with mitt romney in lancaster, ohio, at 5:40 p.m. both of them will be airing on c-span. right now, it is time for us to play, in its entirety, tonight's
presidential visit vice- presidential debate in kentucky. -- tonight's vice presidential debate in kentucky. i am martha raddatz. i am honored to moderate this debate between the two men who have dedicated much of their lives to public service. it is divided between domestic and foreign policy issues. i will move back and forth between foreign and domestic. we will have nine different segments. at the beginning of each segment, i will ask both candidates a question and they will each have two minutes to answer.
i will encourage discussion between the candidate with follow-up question. it has been determined that the vice president biden will be first to answer the opening question. we have a wonderful audience here at centre college. right now, we welcome vice president joe biden and congressman paul ryan. [applause] hos[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
>> good evening, gentlemen. it is an honor to be here with both of you. i would like to begin with libya. on a rather somber note, one month ago tonight on the anniversary of 9/11, ambassador stevens and three other brave americans were killed in a terrorist attack in benghazi. the state department has made clear there were no protesters there. it was a preplanned assault by heavily armed men. wasn't this a massive intelligence failure? >> chris stevens was one of our best. we will find and bring to justice the men who did this. we will get to the bottom of it and wherever the facts lead us, we will make clear, whatever mistakes were made will not be made again. you should take a look at his most important responsibility. that is caring for the national security of the country.
take a look at how he has handled the issues of the day. on iraq, the president has said he would end the war. governor romney said that was a tragic mistake. we should have left 30,000 troops there. with regard to afghanistan, he said he will end the war in 2014. governor romney said we should not set a date. when it came to osama bin laden, the president, the first day in office, i was sitting with him in the oval office and he called in the cia, my highest priority is to get bin laden. prior to the election, governor romney was asked the question about how we would proceed. he did not understand it was more about restoring america's heart. if you do harm to america, we will track you to the gates of hell.
the president of the united states has led with a steady hand and a clear vision. governor romney, the opposite. the last thing we need now is another war. >> we mourn the loss of these four americans who were murdered. you take a look at what has happened in the last few weeks. they sent the u.n. ambassador out to say that this was because of a protest and a youtube video. it took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack. he went to the u.n. and he said six times the youtube video. if we are hit by terrorists, we
are going to call it. our ambassador in paris has a marine detachment guarding him. should we have the marine detachment guarding our ambassador in benghazi? we knew there was an al qaeda cell. this is becoming more troubling by the day. they first blamed the youtube video. now they are blaming the romney- ryan ticket. we had the same position before the withdrawal. let's make sure we secure our gains. the vice-president was put in charge of those negotiations by
president obama. he failed to get the agreement. that is what we were talking about. when it comes to our veterans, we owe them a great debt of gratitude. including your son. we also want to make sure that we do not lose the things we fought so hard to get. with respect to afghanistan, we agree with a 2014 transition. we want to make sure we are not projecting weakness abroad. this benghazi issue, it is indicative of a broader problem. what we're watching on our tv screens is the unraveling of the obama foreign policy. it is making the world more chaotic. >> i want to talk about, in the middle of the crisis, governor romney talked about apologies from the obama administration. was that appropriate in the middle of the crisis? >> on that same day, the obama administration was in that same
position. they disavowed their own statement they put up earlier in the day in cairo. it is never too early to speak out for our values. we should have spoken out right away. we should always stand up for peace, democracy, individual rights. we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts. when we equivocate on our values, it make us look weak. when we look weak, our adversaries are much more willing to test us. >> that is a bunch of malarkey. this lecture on embassy security. the congressman cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for.
so much for the embassy security. governor romney, before he knew the facts, before he knew that the ambassador was killed, he was out making political statements. he was panned by the media around the world. this talk about this weakness, i do not understand what my friend is talking about. this is a president who has done everything he has said he is going to do. he has repaired our alliances. this is a guy who brought the entire world to bring about the most -- the most devastating efforts on iran to make sure they stop. these guys bet against america all the time. >> let me go back to libya. what were you first told about
the attack? why were people talking about protests? when people in the consulate first saw armed men attacking with guns, there were no protesters. >> we were told by the intelligence community -- as they learned more facts about what happened, they changed their assessment. that is why there is also an investigation as to whether or not there were any lapses. >> they wanted more security there. >> we did not know they wanted more security. by the way, at the time, we were told exactly what the intelligence community told us they knew. that was the assessment. they changed their view and made it clear they changed
their view. we will get to the bottom of this. usually in a crisis, we pull together as a nation. even before we knew what happened to the ambassador, the governor was holding a press conference. that is not presidential leadership. >> i want to ask you about -- the romney campaign talks a lot about no apologies. should the u.s. have apologized for americans burning korans in afghanistan? should the u.s. apologize for americans urinating on taliban corpses? >> what we should not be apologizing for are standing up for our values. what we should not be doing is
saying to the egyptian people, mubarak is cracking down on them, that he is a good guy. and the next day, saying he ought to go. we should not be rejecting claims for more security. we need more marines in benghazi. there were requests for extra security, those requests were not honored. this was the anniversary of 9/11. it was libya, a country we knew we had al qaeda there. al qaeda and its affiliates are on the rise in northern africa. we did not give our ambassador in benghazi a marine detachment. we should not apologize for our values. look at all the various issues out there. the vice president talks about sanctions in iran. >> i would like to move to iran. there is really no bigger
national security issue in this country. both president obama and governor romney said it will prevent iran from getting nuclear weapons even if that means military action. last week, former defense secretary said a strike on iran's facility would not work and could prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations. can the two of you be absolutely clear and specific to the american people how was that would military strike be? >> we cannot allow iran to gain nuclear weapons capability. let's take a look that where we have come from. when barack obama was elected, they had enough material to make one bomb. now they have enough for five. they are four years closer towards nuclear weapons capability. we have had four different sanctions. the only reason we got it was because of russia watered it down. mitt romney proposed these sanctions in 2007. the administration was blocking us every step of the way. only because we had strong bipartisan support for these tough sanctions were we able to overrule the objections and put them in in spite of the administration. look at what they are doing. they're stepping up their terrorist attacks. they tried a terrorist attack in the united states last year.
talk about credibility. when this administration says all options are on the table, they send all these mixed signals. in order to solve this peacefully, you have to have the ayatollahs change their minds. look at where they are. it is because this administration has no credibility on this issue. this administration watered down sanctions. now we have been in place because of congress. the military option is not being viewed as credible. make sure we have credibility. under a romney administration, we will have credibility. >> incredible. do you think there is any possibility the entire world would have joined us? russia and china?
these are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions. period. when the governor is asked about it, he said, we have to keep the sanctions. you're going to go to war? the interesting thing, how are they going to prevent war? there is nothing more they'd say we should do than what we have already done. with regard to the ability of the united states to take action militarily, it is not in my purview to talk about classified information. we feel quite confident we could deal a serious blow to the iranians. the iranians are -- the
israelis and united states intelligence communities are the same exact place in terms of how close the iranians are to getting a nuclear weapon. there is no difference between our view and theirs. when my friend talks about material, they have to take this highly enriched uranium, then they have to be able to have something to put it in. there is no weapon the iranians have at this point. both the israelis and we will know if they start the process. all this bluster i keep hearing, what are they talking about? are you talking about to be more credible? what more can the president do? directly communicate to the ayatollah. we will not let them to acquire
a nuclear weapon. >> let's look at this from the view of the ayatollahs. what do they see? they see this administration trying to water down sanctions in congress for over two years. they're moving faster toward a nuclear weapon. they see us saying, we need more space for their ally israel. they see president obama in new york city the same day -- instead of meeting netanyahu, goes on a daily talk show. when we say that these options are on the table, the secretary of defense walked them back. they are not changing their minds.
that is what we have to do, change their minds. >> you both saw benjamin netanyahu hold up that picture of obama with a red line and talking about the red line being in spring. can you solve this? if you are elected, can you solve this in two months before spring and avoid -- >> we can debate the timeline. i agree that it is longer. we both agreed that to do this peacefully, you have to get them to change their minds. they are not changing their minds. >> the ayatollah sees an economy being crippled.
50% fewer exports of oil. the currency is going in the tank. he sees the economy going into free-fall. he sees the world totally united in opposition. the president has met him a dozen times. he has spoken to netanyahu as much as he has spoken to anybody. just before he went to the un, i was in a conference call with the president talking for well over an hour. stark detail about what was going on. >> what does that mean? >> the irish call it malarkey. we will not allow the iranians to get a nuclear weapon. when they get to the point where they can enrich uranium in half to put into a weapon, they do not have a weapon to put it into. calm down. iran is more isolated today than when we took office. it is totally isolated. i do not know what world these guys are in.
>> in spite of their opposition. they had given 20 waivers to this section. all i have to point to our results. >> can you tell the american people -- >> they are closer to being able to get another -- enough material to put it in a weapon if they had a weapon. facts matter, martha. you are a foreign policy expert, facts matter. all of this loose talk, not true. not true. if we ever have to take action, we will have the world behind us. that matters. that matters. >> what about bob gates? let me read it again. "could prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations." >> he is right. >> it undermines our credibility by backing up the point where we make it or all options are on the table.
the ayatollahs see these kinds of statements and they think, i am going to get a nuclear weapon. when we see the kind of equivocation that took place because this administration wanted a precondition policy, they were silent for nine days. when they see us putting daylight between ourselves and our allies in israel, that gives them encouragement. when they see russia watering down any further sanctions, the only reason we got a u.n. sanction was because russia watered it down. when they see this type of activity, they are encouraged to continue. >> let me ask you what is worse, war in the middle east or nuclear arms iran? >> a nuclear arms iran, which triggers a nuclear arms race in
the middle east. this is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism. they call us the great satan. if they get nuclear weapons, other people in the neighborhood will pursue their nuclear weapons as well. >> war should always be the absolute last resort. that is why these crippling sanctions -- if i am not mistaken, governor romney says we should continue. i may be mistaken, he changes his mind so often, i could be wrong. he says they're working. they are being crippled by them. we have made it clear, big nations cannot bluff.
this president does not bluff. >> the number-one issue here at home is jobs. the percentage of unemployed just fell below 8% for the first time in 43 months. the obama administration had projected that it would fall below 6% after the addition of close to a trillion dollars in stimulus money. will both of you level with the american people? can you get unemployment to under 6%? how long will it take? >> we can and we will. let's look at where we were when we came to office. the economy was in freefall. we had the great recession. 9 million people lost their
jobs. $1.60 trillion in wealth lost, equity in your homes, retirement accounts. we immediately went out and rescued general motors. we went ahead and made sure we cut taxes. in addition to that, when that occurred, what did romney do? let detroit go bankrupt. for a guy who says 47% of the american people are unwilling my friend recently gave a speech to washington state, 30% of the american people are takers. these people are my mom and dad. they are elderly people who are living off social security. there are veterans and people fighting in afghanistan right now who are "not paying any taxes." it's about time they take some
responsibility. instead of signing pledges to grover norquist, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class, we will level the playing field. we will give you a fair shot again. we will not repeat the mistakes we made in the past by having a different set of rules for wall street and main street, making sure we continue to hemorrhage these tax cuts for the super wealthy. they are holding hostage the middle class tax cut because they say we won't continue the middle class tax cut unless you give the tax cut for the super wealthy. it is about time they take some responsibility. >> joe and i are from similar towns. do you know what the unemployment rate in scranton is today? 10%.
that is how is going all around america. >> that is not how it is going. it is going down. >> did they inherit a tough situation? absolutely. but we're going in the wrong direction. the economy is barely limping along. job growth in september was slower than it was in august and august was slower than it was in july. we're heading in the wrong direction. 23 million americans are struggling for work. 15% of americans are living in poverty. this is not what a real recovery looks like. we need real reforms for a real recovery. that is exactly what we are proposing. get america energy independent by the end of the decade. get this deficit and debt under control. make trade work for america. champion small businesses, do not raise taxes on small businesses.
they are our job creators. he talks about detroit. mitt romney is a car guy. this is a guy who -- i was talking to a family in massachusetts the other day. their kids were hit in a car crash. two of them were paralyzed. they went to the same church. mitt asked if he could come over on christmas. he brought his boys and his wife and gifts. i know you are struggling, do not worry about college, i will pay for it. mitt romney does not tell these stories. it was not the cash, he gave his time, and he has consistently. this is a man who gave 30% of itincome to charity, more of the two of us combined. he is a good man. he cares about 100% of
americans in the country. the vice president knows that sometimes the words do not come out of your mouth the right way. [laughter] >> i always say what i mean. >> we want everybody to succeed. we want to get everybody out of poverty. we believe in opportunity. that is what we're going to push for. >> i have a feeling you have a few things to say. >> the idea, if you heard that soliloquy on 47%, that he just made a mistake, i have a bridge to sell you. i do not doubt his personal generosity. when i was a little younger
than the congressman, my wife was in an accident. killed my daughter, and my two sons survived. i have sat in the homes of many people. to know they know you have been through it, that they can make it. i do not doubt his personal commitment to individuals. but do you know what? he had no commitment to the automobile industry. he said, let it go bankrupt. all this talk, we saved a million jobs. 200,000 people are working today. i have never met two guys more down on america across the board. 5.2 million new jobs. we need more, but 5.2 million. if they would get out of the way and let us pass the tax cuts, pass the jobs bill, just get out of the way.
stop talking about how you care about people. show me something. show me a policy where you take responsibility. by the way, they talk about this great recession like it fell out of the sky. show me a policy where you take responsibility. by the way, they talk about this great recession like it fell out of the sky. i was there. we cannot afford that. all of a sudden, these guys are so seized with the concern about the debt. >> let's not forget that they came in with one-party control. en barack obama was elected,
his party controlled everything. they had the ability to do everything of their choosing. they passed the stimulus. the idea that we could borrow $831 billion and spend it on all of these special interest groups and would work out just fine. they said if we just passed the stimulus, the economy would grow at 4%. it is growing at 1.3%. >> when could you get below 6%? >> that is what our entire premise is about. look at the $90 billion in stimulus. the vice-president was in charge of overseeing this. $90 billion to campaign contributors and special interest groups. the department of energy, over 100 criminal investigations. >> an investigative committees spent months and months.
they found no evidence of cronyism. i love my friend. i am not allowed to show letters, but go on our website. he sent me two letters, by the way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies in the state of wisconsin? >> you did ask for stimulus, correct? >> constituents applying for grants. we did that for all constituents. >> i love that. that is a bad program and he writes me a letter. the reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs. his words. and now he is sitting here -- by the way, that program, what the congress said was that it was a model.
all this talk about cronyism. they investigated and did not find one single piece of evidence. i wish he would just -- >> was it a good idea to spend taxpayer dollars on windmills in china? was it a good idea to borrow all this money from countries like china and spend it on all these different interest groups? >> it was a good idea that this was exactly what we needed to stop us from going off the cliff. 4% of those green went under. it is a better batting average that investment bankers have. >> where are the 5 million green jobs? >> i want to move on to medicare and entitlements. >> any letter you send me, i will entertain. >> both medicare and social security are going broke and taking a larger share of the
budget. will benefits for americans under these programs have to change for the programs to survive? >> absolutely. medicare and social security are going bankrupt. when i look at these programs, we have all had tragedies in our lives, i think about what they have done for my own family. my mom and i had my grandmother move in with us who was facing alzheimer's. medicare was there for her. after my dad died, my mom and i got social security survivors' benefits. it helped her to go back to college in her 50s. she started a small business. she paid all her taxes on the promise that these programs would be there for her. we will honor this promise. if you reform these programs for my generation, you can guarantee they don't change for people near retirement. that is what mitt romney and i
are proposing. look what obamacare does. obamacare takes $716 billion from medicare to spend on obamacare. even their own chief actuary of medicare backs this up. you cannot claim that this money goes to medicare and obamacare. and then they put this new obamacare board in charge of cutting medicare each and every year. this board is 15 people. not one of them even has to have medical training. social security, when the program goes bankrupt, a 25% across-the-board benefit cuts kicks in on current seniors in the middle of their retirement. we will stop that from happening. they have not put a credible solution on the table. he will tell you about the vouchers. he will say all these things to try to scare people. give younger people guaranteed
coverage options. you cannot be denied, including traditional medicare. more coverage for middle income people and total coverage for the poor and sick. >> i heard that the death panel argument from sarah palin. let's talk about medicare. we saved $716 billion and put it back into medicare. we cut the cost to medicare. we stopped overpaying insurance companies. the ama supported what we did. aarp supported what we did. they want to wipe this out. it also gave more benefits, any
seniors out there, did you have more benefits today? you do. you get wellness visits without copays. guaranteed benefits. it is a voucher. when they first proposed -- the cbo said it would cost $6,400 a year more for every senior 55 and below when they got there. he knew that. yet he got all the guys in congress to vote for it. governor romney said, i would sign it. who do you believe? the ama, me, or somebody who would put in motion a plan that knowingly adds $6,400 a year
more to the cost of medicare? now they have a new plan. trust me, it will not cost you any more. folks, follow your instincts. with regard to social security, we will not privatize. if you listened to mitt romney and the congressmen during the bush years, imagine where all of those seniors would be now if the money had been in the market. their ideas are old and their ideas are bad and eliminate the guarantee of medicare. >> they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar turning medicare into a piggy bank for obamacare. their own actuary came to congress and said, one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this. 7.4 million seniors are projected to lose the medicare coverage they have. >> more people signed up for
medicare advantage after the change. >> i know you are under a lot of duress. >> do not take all of the four minutes. >> do not change benefits for people 55 and above. >> let me ask you this. what is your specific plan for seniors who really cannot afford to make the difference in the value of what you called a premium support plan and others called a voucher? >> by taking down the subsidies for wealthy people. this is a plan. $6,400 was misleading then and it is totally inaccurate now. this is a plan that is bipartisan. i put it together with a
prominent democrat senator. >> there is not one democrat who has endorsed that. >> we put it together with the former clinton budget director. here is the point. if we do not fix this soon, current seniors get caught. 10,000 people are retiring every single day. >> if we just allow medicare to bargain for the cost of drugs, that would save $156 billion right off the bat. folks, all you seniors, have you been denied choices? have you lost medicare advantage? >> if it could help solve the
problem, why not very slowly raise the medicare eligibility age by two years? >> i was there when we did that with social security in 1983. i was one of eight people negotiating with president reagan. we all got together and everybody said as long as everybody is in the deal, and everybody is making some sacrifice, we can find a way. we made the system solvent to 2033. we will not be part of any voucher plan eliminating -- the doctor says, mom, when you are 65, shop for the best insurance, you are out of medicare. it will not keep pace with health care costs. if it did keep pace, there would be no savings. that is why they go to the voucher. we will be no part of the voucher program or the
privatization of social security. >> nobody is proposing that. barack obama, four years ago, if you do not have any fresh ideas, use scare tactics to scare voters. if you do not have a good record, paint your opponent as someone people should run from. >> what we said then and what i have always agreed, let younger americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them. what we are saying is no changes for anybody 55 and above. the kind of changes we're talking about for younger people, do not increase the benefits for wealthy people. >> quickly, vice president. >> all the studies show if we
went with social security proposal made by mitt romney, if you are in your 40's now, you will pay $2,600 less in social security. the idea of changing, to cut the benefits for people without taking other action to make it work, it is absolutely the wrong way. these guys have not been big on medicare from the beginning. their party has not been big on medicare from the beginning. they have always been about social security as little as you can do. who do you trust on this? a man who introduced a bill that would raise it $6,400 a year, knowing it and passing it? or me and the president? >> that was completely misleading. this is what politicians do
when they do not have a record to run on. >> medicare beneficiaries -- >> we are going to move on. >> medicare and social security did so much for my own family, we will not jeopardize this program. >> you are changing the program from a guaranteed benefit. people are going to have to pay more money out of their pockets. >> gentlemen. i would like to move on to a very simple question. something tells me i will not get a very simple answer. if your ticket is elected, who will pay more in taxes? who will pay less in taxes? >> middle-class will pay less and people making a million dollars or more will begin to
contribute slightly more. the continuation of the bush tax cuts, we are arguing the bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be allowed to expire. $800 billion of that goes to people making a million dollars. we see no justification for those -- they are patriotic americans, they are not suggesting the tax cut. 120,000 families will get an additional $500 billion in tax relief in the next 10 years. their income is an average of $8 million. we want to extend the middle class tax cuts permanently. these guys will not allow us to. we say, let's have a vote. they are holding hostage the middle class tax cut to the super wealthy. all the studies point out will
get another $250,000 a year to those 120,000 families and raise taxes for families who are middle income with a child by to $2000 a year. this is unconscionable. there is no need for this. the middle class got knocked on their heels. the great recession crushed them. the last people who need help are 120,000 families for another $500 billion tax cut. >> our entire premise is to grow the economy and create jobs. it is a plan that is estimated to create 7 million jobs.
we think the government taking 20% of the families and businesses income is enough. president obama thinks the government ought to be able to take as much as 44.8%. if you tax every person and successful small-business making over $250,000 at over 100%, you can only run a government for 98 days. there are not enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending. the next time you hear them say, do not worry about it, watch out, middle-class, the tax bill is coming to you. that is why we are saying, eight out of 10 businesses, they file their taxes as individuals, not as corporations.
near where i come from, the canadians dropped their tax rate to 15%. the average tax rate on businesses is 25%. the president wants the top tax rate to go above 40%. two-thirds of our jobs come from small businesses. it does not pay for 10% of the deficit spending increases. lower tax rates across the board and close loopholes. we have three bottom lines. do not raise the deficit, do not raise taxes on the middle class, do not lower the share that is borne by the high income earners. it has been discredited by six other studies and even their own deputy campaign manager
acknowledged that it was not correct. >> let's talk about this. you have refused to offer specifics on how you would pay for that 20% across the board. do you actually have the specifics or are you still working on it? >> different than this administration, we want to have a big bipartisan agreement. >> do you have the specifics? >> look at what ronald reagan and tip o'neill did. we raise about $1.20 trillion through income taxes. we forgo about $1.10 trillion in loopholes and deductions. deny those loopholes and deductions to higher income tax payers.
so we can lower tax rates across the board. >> i hope i am going to get time to respond. >> we want to work with congress on how best to achieve this. >> no specifics. >> lower tax rate 20%. start with the wealthy. >> you guarantee that this math adds up. >> let me have a chance to translate. i was there with ronald reagan. he gave specifics in terms of tax expenditures. 97% of the small businesses make less than $250,000. hedge funds that make $600 million a year. let's look at how sincere they are.
governor romney on "60 minutes," 10 days ago, was asked, you pay 14% on $20 million. someone making $50,000 pays more than that. do think that is fair? he said, yes, that is fair. you think these guys are going to cut those loopholes? the biggest loophole they take advantage of is that carried interest loophole and capital gains loophole. there is not enough -- the reason why the american enterprise institute study, the reason they all say it is going to go up for the middle class, the only way you can find $5 trillion in loopholes is cut the mortgage deduction for middle-class people. cut the health care deduction for middle-class people. that is why -- >> he is wrong about that.
>> not mathematically possible. >> it has been done before. >> it has never been done before. >> it has been done a couple of times. >> now you are jack kennedy. [laughter] >> republicans and democrats have worked together on this. i understand you guys are not used to doing bipartisan deals. that is how you get things done. >> the republican congress working? 7% rating? >> mitt romney was governor of massachusetts. he did not demonize them, he did not demagogue them. he met with those party leaders every week. he did not compromise principles. he balanced the budget.
>> why isn't he contesting massachusetts? >> what would you suggest beyond raising taxes on the wealthy? >> let the taxes expire like they were supposed to on these millionaires. we cannot afford $800 billion going to people making a minimum of a million dollars. they do not need it, martha. those 120,000 families make $800 million a year. why is my friend -- >> can you declare anything off- limits? home mortgage deductions? >> this taxes a million small businesses. >> 97% of the small businesses
make less than $250,000 a year. >> this taxes a million people. >> 97%. >> and you're going to increase -- >> we are not going to cut the defense budget. >> no massive defense increase? how do you do that? >> a proposed $478 billion cut to defense. now we have another $500 billion cut defense that is working on the horizon. they insisted upon that being involved in the debt negotiations. >> no one wants that, but i want
to know how you do the math. >> you do not cut the defense by a trillion dollars. we will cut 80,000 soldiers, 20,000 marines, 120 cargo planes. if these cuts go through, our navy will be the smallest it has been since before world war i. this invites weakness. do we believe in peace through strength? you bet we do. do not cut the military by a trillion dollars. not increase it by a trillion, do not cut it by a trillion. >> we do not cut it. this so-called automatic cut, that was part of the debt deal they asked for. let me tell you what my friend said at a press conference.
we have been looking for this moment for a long time. >> can i tell you what that meant? >> the bipartisanship was what he voted for the automatic cuts in defense because they did not act. the military says, we need a smaller army. we need more special forces. we do not need more tanks. that was the decision of the joint chiefs of staff. recommended to us and agreed by the president. >> i would like to get into afghanistan. that is one of the biggest expenditures this country has made. we just passed the sad milestone of losing 2000 u.s. troops. more than 50 of them were killed by the very afghan forces
we're trying to help. we have reached the recruiting goal for afghan forces. tell me, why not leave now? what more can we accomplish? is it worth more american lives? >> we do not want to lose the gains we have gotten. we want to make sure the taliban does not come back in and give al qaeda a safe haven. when i think about afghanistan, i think about the incredible job our troops have done. you have been there more than the two of us combined. the first time i was there, it was amazing to me what they were facing. i went to the argonaut valley before the surge, i sat down with a young private who would tell me what he did every day. to see what they had in front of them.
to go back in december, to see what they had accomplished, it is nothing short of amazing. what we do not want to do is lose the gains we have gotten. we have disagreed on a few issues. we would have taken into account the recommendations from our commanders, general petraeus, on troop levels. we have been skeptical about negotiations with the taliban. especially while they are shooting at us. but we want to see the 2014 transition be successful. we want to make sure our commanders have what they need to make sure it is successful. >> martha, let's keep our eye on the ball. i have been to afghanistan and iraq 20 times. i have been throughout that whole country. we went there for one reason. to get those people who killed
americans. al qaeda. we decimated al qaeda central. we have eliminated osama bin laden. that was our purpose. in the meantime, what we said we would do, we would help train the afghan military. it is their responsibility to take over their own security. that is why, with 49 of our allies in afghanistan, we have agreed on a gradual drawdown. we're out of there in the year 2014. it is based on conditions. it does not depend for us. it is the responsibility of the afghans to take care of their own security. we have trained over 315,000, mostly without incident. there have been more than two dozen cases of green on blue. if the measures the military has taken do not take hold, we
will not go on joint patrols. we will only train in the army bases that exist there. we are leaving. we are leaving in 2014, period. but then in the process we will be saving another $800 billion. we have been in this war for over a decade. the primary objective is almost completed. we are putting the kabul government in a position to maintain their responsibility. it is their responsibility, not a americans. >> what conditions could justify staying? >> one of my best friends in jamesville is at an operating base in afghanistan right now. our wives and daughters are best friends.
i want him and all of our troops to come home as soon and safely as possible. we want to make sure we give our commanders what they say to make it successful. if it wasn't just this, i feel like we would be -- if it was just this, i feel like we would be able to call it successful. we turn on our televisions and see the unraveling of the obama foreign-policy. problems are growing abroad, but jobs are not growing at home. >> he says we are absolutely leaving in 2014. you are saying that is not an absolute. >> do you know what we say that? we do not want to broadcast to our enemies, put a date on their calendar, wait us out, and come back. we do agree with the timeline
and the transition. what any administration will do in 2013 is access the situation to see how to deal with the timeline. we do not want to give our allies reasons to trust us less and we do not want to emboldened our enemies to hold and wait out for us. >> that is a bizarre statement. 49 of our allies signed on to this position. 49. of 49 said out in 2014. that is the responsibility of the afghans. >> we have afghan forces murdering our forces over there. the taliban, the thing they are taking advantage of this time line?
>> what we saw in iraq, unless you set a time line, they will not step up. they're happy to let us continue to do the job. the only way they step up is to say, fellows, we are leaving. we have to train you, step up. >> let me go back to the surged troops. you brought this up. i have talked to a lot of officers who were concerned that the surge troops were pulled out. some of them saw that as a political movement. can you tell me, what was the military reason for bringing them home? >> when the president announced
the surge, you will remember he said the surge will be out by the end of the summer. the military said the surge will be out. there is nothing political about this. before the surge occurred, we said that they will be out by the end of the summer. that is what the military said. >> the military follows orders. there are people concerned about pulling out -- >> there are people concerned, but not the joint chiefs. that was their recommendation to the president. i sat there. i am sure you will find somebody who disagrees within the pentagon. that is not the case here. the reason the military said that is, you cannot wait and have a cliff. it takes months and months to draw down forces.
>> i think this can get a little confusing. we have all met with general allan. the taliban and the terrorists come over from pakistan to fight our men and women. when it is frozen with snow, they cannot do it. and in the warm months, fighting gets really high. when general petraeus said if people these people out, it puts us more at risk, that puts us at more at risk. the remaining troops that still have the mission to prosecute are doing it with your people, that makes them less safe. we are sending fewer people out and all of the hot spots to do
the same job they were supposed to do a month ago. >> we turned them over to the afghan troops we trained. nobody was pulled out of that did that get to build an by trained afghan personnel. he is conflating two issues. the fighting issue that the general petraeus was talking about was the fighting season this spring. >> the calendar works the same every year. >> it does work the same every year. >> it is warm or it is not. they're still fighting over us and coming over the passes. there are still coming over to all of these areas. we are still sending fewer people to the front to fight to them. >> that as the afghan
responsibility. we have trained them. >> not in the east. >> the east is the most dangerous place -- >> that is why -- >> you would remove -- you would whether americans be doing the job? >> fewer of them. >> we are sending in more afghans to do the job. >> let's move to the civil war in syria or there are estimates that over 25,000 or 30,000 people have been killed. in march president obama explained the military action taken in libya saying it was in the national interest to prevent further massacres from occurring there. why does the same logic not apply in syria? >> it is a different country. it is five times as large a geographically. it has one-fifth the population of libya. it is a part of the world it
would not see whatever come from that war to seep into a regional war. you are in a country heavily populated in the midst of the most dangerous area of the world. if it blows up and it the wrong people gain control, it will have impact on the entire region causing potentially regional wars. we are working with the turks, the jordanians, the saudis and with all the people i in the region trying to identify the people who deserve the help so when assad goes, there will be a legitimate government that follows on. all of the loose talk of my friend, governor romney and the congressman, about how we could do so much more. what more would they do other than put american boots on the ground? the last thing america needs is
to get into in the ground war in the middle east requiring a hundred thousand american forces. they are the facts. every time the american -- every time the governor is asked about this, he goes up with a whole lot of the verbiage. when he gets pressed, he says he would not do anything different that we are doing now. are they proposing putting american troops until the ground? they should speak up and say so. that is not what they are saying. we are doing it exactly like we need to do to identify those forces who in fact will provide for stable government and not cause a regional suni shiite war when assad falls. >> nobody is proposing sending american troops to syria.
we would not refer to asad as a reformer when he is killing his of civilians. we would not be outsourcing our foreign policy to the united nations giving vladimir putin veto power over our efforts with this issue. hillary clinton went to russia to try to convince him not to do so. she said they are on the wrong side of history. she is right about that. where are we? after international pressure mounted, and has been over one year, the man has slaughtered tens of thousands of his own people, more fighters are spilling into the country. the longer this is going on, the more groups like al qaeda are going in.
we could have more easily identified a free syrian army working with our allies, the turks, had we had a better plan in place to begin with working through our allies. we waited to try to come up with an agreement with the un, that bought assad time. meanwhile, 30,000 syrians are dead. >> what would my friend do differently? if you notice he never asks -- he never answers a question differently. >> you do not go through the un. >> we have been in the process for months making sure humanitarian aid and other training is getting through to those forces we believe, the turks believe, the jordanians believe, the saudis believe are the free forces inside of syria. our allies were all on the same
page. nato as well as our arab allies in trying to get a settlement, that was their idea. we are the ones that said enough. with regard to the reset not working, the fact of the matter is russia has a different interest in the syrian that we do and that is not in our interest. >> what happens if assad does not fall? >> iran keeps their greatest ally in the region. he will keep slaughtering his people. we will lose our credibility on this. >> what would romney/ryan do? >> we agree with chemical weapons, but not about putting troops in. what we should have done earlier is work with those freedom fighters, those in
syria. we should not have called assad a reformer. we should not have voide for russia to give us the green light at the u. n. they are still arming the man. they are flying flights over iraq to help assad. if we had the agreement he said about ira, we probably would have prevented that. >> let me ask you quickly what is your criteria for intervention. >> in syria? what is in the interests of the american people. >> no humanitarian. >> each situation will come up with its own set of circumstances. putting american troops on the ground, that has to be within
the national security interests of the american people. embargoes and sanctions -- those are things that do not put american troops on the ground. if you are talking about putting troops on the ground, only in our interests. >> i want to return home for the last few questions. this debate is historic. we have two catholic candidates, first time on a stage such as this. i would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion. please talk about how you came to that decision. talking about how your religion played a part in that. this is such an emotional issue for so many in this country. please talk personally about this if you could. >> i do not see how a person can separate their personal life
from their public life and their faith. our faith informs us and everything we do. it informs me of how to make sure people have a chance in life. if you want to ask why i am pro-life, it is not simply because of my catholic faith. that is a factor of course. it is also because of reason and science. i think about 10 and a half years ago, my wife jan and i went to mercy hospital where i was born for our seventh week ultrasound for our firstborn child. we saw the heartbeat. our little baby was in the shape of the been. -- of a bean. to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child "bean." i believe life begins at conception. those are the reasons i am pro- life. i understand this is a difficult
issue. i respect people who do not agree with me on this. the policy of a mitt romney administration is to oppose abortion with the exceptions for a rape and the life of the mother. what troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. look at what they are doing through obamacare with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. they are infringing upon our first free them. the freedom of religion by infringing on catholic charities, churches, catholic hospitals. our church should not have to sue the federal government to maintain religious liberties. with respect to abortion, the democratic party used to sit want to be safe, legal, and rare. now the support it without restrictions and tax payer funding. the vice president himself went to china.
he said he sympathized or would not second-guess their one child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. that to me as pretty extreme. >> my religion defines who i am. i have been a practicing catholic my whole life. it has informed my social doctrine. it talks about taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves. people who need help. with regard to a abortion, i accept my church's position on abortion as a doctrine. i refuse to impose it on the equally devout christians and muslims and jews -- i refuse to impose that on others of like my friend here, the congressmen.
i do not believe we have a right to tell other people -- other women they cannot control their bodies. i will not interfere with that. with regard to the assault on the catholic church, let me make it clear. no religious institution, catholic or otherwise, including catholic social services, any hospital, none has to be there refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, and that has to be a vehicle to get contraception until any policy they provide. that is a fact. with regard to the way in which we differ, my friend says -- i
guess he accepts governor romney's position now. in the past he has argued there is a rape, forcible rape, in the case of rape or it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. i fundamentally disagree with my friend. >> all i am saying is if you believe life begins at conception, that does not change the definition of life. that is a principle. the policy of a romney administration is to oppose abortions with exceptions for rape,, and life of the mother. i have to take issue with the catholic church and religious liberty. if they agree with you, why would they keep suing you? >> i want to go back to the abortion question. if the romney-ride ticket is
elected, should those who believe abortion is legal be worried? >> we do not believe judges should make the decision that people through their elected representatives and a consensus through the democratic process to make the determination. >> the next president will get one or two supreme court nominations. that is how close roe vs wade is. who do you think he is likely to appoint? do you think he is likely to appoint somebody like judge scalia or somebody who would outlaw abortion? i suspect that what happened. i guarantee that will not happen. we pay people open-minded. they have been good justices. >> was there a litmus test on that? >> we picked people with an open mind and who did not come
with an agenda. >> i will move on to disclose in question because we are out of time. you have said the two of the respect our troops enormously. your son has served, and perhaps someday your children will serve as well. i recently spoke to a highly decorated soldier who said this presidential campaign has left him this made. he told me the ads are so negative and all tearing down each other rather than building of the country. what would you say to the american hero about the campaign? at the end of the day, are you ever embarrassed by the tone? >> i would say, we only have one truly sacred obligation as a government to equip those we sen in harm's way and care for those who come home.
that is the only sacred obligation that we have. everything else falls behind that. i would also tell him the fact that he, this decorated soldier, fought for his country, that should be honored. he should not be thrown into a category of a 47% who did not fight -- do not pay their taxes while he was fighting and somehow not taking responsibility. i would also tell him there are things that have occurred in this campaign that i am sure both of us regret having said, particularly in the special, new groups that go out there and raise all of the money they want, they can say the most scurrilous things about the other candidate. it is an abomination. the bottom line is, that he
wrote you have reference, take a look at whether governor romney or president obama has the conviction to help lift up the middle class, restore them to where they were before the recession hit and they were wiped out or whether they will continue to focus on taking care of only the wealthy and not ask them to take any part in paying the deal of bringing back the middle class of the country. i would ask them to take a look at whether the president has acted wisely in the use of force and whether a not -- whether or not the comments made by governor romney served our interests very well. there are things that have been said in campaigns that i find it not very appealing. >> i would first of all thank him for doing a service to our country. i say we will not impose
devastating cuts to our military never compromise their safety. i would say you have a president to ran four years ago promising hope and change who has turned this campaign into attack, blame, and in the same. if you do not have a good record to run on, then you paint your opponent as somebody to run from. that is what president obama said in 2008, that is what he is doing now. look at the string of broken promises. if you like your health care plan, you can keep that. try telling that to the millions of people who are projected to lose it. remember when he said this, i guarantee if you make less than $250,000 your taxes will not go up. 12 of the tax increases in obamacare went to the middle class. remember when he said, i promise by the end of my first
term i will cut the deficit in half? we have had four deficits. a debt crisis is coming. we cannot keep spending and borrowing like this. we cannot keep spending money we do not have. leaders fix problems. president obama has not put a credible plan on the table in any of his four years. i passed two budgets to deal with this. mitt romney has put suggestions out. we ask for a plan, they sent a press secretary. they give us a copy of the speech appeared be asked with the plan was to prevent a debt crisis. they said, a speech. we cannot estimate speeches. that is what we get, speeches. we are not getting leadership. mitt romney is qualified to fix the problems.
his lifetime of experience is, what do we have for a president? he broke his promise to bring people together to solve the biggest problems. i would tell him we do not have to settle for this. >> i hope i will get equal time. >> you will get a few seconds, really. >> the two budgets the congressman has introduced have even serrated all of the things the middle-class has cared about. it will kick 200,000 children off of early educated. it will eliminate the tax credit people have to send children to college. it cuts education by $450 billion. it does virtually nothing except continue to increase the tax breaks to the wealthy. the idea that he is so concerned about the deficits, he
voted to put two wars on a credit card. >> we're going to closing statements in a minute. >> our budget, we have not -- >> i want to talk to you very briefly before we go to closing statements about your own personal character. if he were elected, what could be both give to this country as a man, a human being, that nobody else could it? >> honesty. there are plenty of fine people that could lead this country. there are people who say when they are going to do something, they go do it. what you need is one people see problems, they offer solutions to fix the problems. we're not getting that. we can grow the economy faster, that is what our five-point plan is all about.
it is about getting people out of poverty into the middle class. that is about going with proven pro-growth policies that we know work getting people back to work. working with democrats -- that actually works sometimes. >> will we get to the issue of what you could bring as a man, and a human being? >> he gets 40, i get 15. >> he did not get 40. >> my record stands for itself. i never say anything i did not mean. everybody knows whatever i say, i do. my whole life has been devoted to leveling the playing field for a middle-class people, treating main street and wall street the same. look at my record. it has been all about the middle class. they are the people who grow this country. we grow this country from the metal out, not from the top down. >> we turn to the candidates for their closing statements.
>> let me say at the outset, i want to thank you for doing this. the fact is, we are at enter a situation where we inherited a got awful circumstances. people are in real trouble. we acted to bring relief to people who need the most help now. in the process, in case you have not noticed, we have strong disagreements. you have probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the american people. my friend says 30% of the american people are takers. romney points out 40% of the people will not take responsibility. he is talking about my mother and father, my neighbors in scranton. he is talking about the people who built this country. who built this country.